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Apple Estimated to Retake Title of World's Largest Smartphone Vendor


Research firm Strategy Analytics today announced its estimates of the global smartphone market for the fourth quarter of 2011, finding that Apple narrowly squeezed by Samsung to retake the title of world's largest smartphone vendor as measured by unit shipments. According to Strategy Analytics' numbers, Apple's 37 million iPhones narrowly eclipsed Samsung's quarterly smartphone shipments of 36.5 million units.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “While Apple took the top spot in smartphones on a quarterly basis, Samsung became the market leader in annual terms for the first time with 20 percent global share during 2011. With global smartphone shipments nearing half a billion units in 2011, Samsung is now well positioned alongside Apple in a two-horse race at the forefront of one of the world’s largest and most valuable consumer electronics markets.”
Strategy Analytics showed Apple first taking the title in the second quarter of 2011 as it passed Nokia and held off a surging Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone vendor. But Apple's reign at the top was short-lived as Samsung easily topped the list in the third quarter on continued growth paired with a pause in iPhone sales ahead of the iPhone 4S launch. With the iPhone 4S launch now fueling Apple's numbers, it was able to retake the lead from Samsung in the fourth quarter, although it was not able to top the charts for full-year 2011.

One caveat for numbers released by Strategy Analytics and other research firms comes from the fact that Samsung no longer reports mobile phone sales numbers, ending the practice in mid-2010 for competitive reasons. Consequently, observers can only estimate Samsung's sales numbers based on the company's financial performance and other evidence.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago



Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.


Apple is at a disadvantage because they only offer one type of phone.

Samsung has all types: slab, qwerty, slider, big, small, etc. Samsung is simply able to cover a wider audience.

And yet Apple still sold more phones than Samsung this quarter...
Rating: 24 Votes
33 months ago
Apple has 3 phones, and don't count store shelves as "customers." To wen be close to Samsung's 20-odd phones that are released every quarter is amazing.


Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.
Rating: 22 Votes
33 months ago

[SIZE=1]
Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.


That clearly wasn't my point. My point is that Samsung AS A WHOLE sells a myriad of phones that yes, are slightly different, but designed to accommodate virtually every possible design style under the sun.

Apple AS A WHOLE makes 3 phones that are all virtually identical in size and design. But yet they're doing just as well as Samsung. If you don't understand my point then don't worry.


EDIT: Here's my point dumbed down and super simple-
If you can make 3 phones that are as successful as 30... You're clearly doing something better overall.
Rating: 16 Votes
33 months ago
Please stop providing Strategy Analytics any limelight. It's a hack organization that only spreads meaningless numbers on shipments, not sales. What is the point?
Rating: 12 Votes
33 months ago

Who cares about marketshare when you can just buy every Android device manufacturer out there? Even though that would never happen it would be extremely hilarious if that's why they’re hoarding all the cash!!

100 billion dollars can buy a whole lot of innovation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple starts throwing it down a bit more in terms of radical new tech and design. I feel like they’re due to leapfrog the competition by another 5 years. What if they released another iPhone 1 type device? Something so incredible and beyond what everyone else is doing? I can only dream for now…

that would require Apple putting the money at innovation instead of wasting it suing with crapents.
Rating: 12 Votes
33 months ago
iPhones are just fashion accessories/statements.

When the average iphone user uses there phone to send text messages and surf facebook what a waste.
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago
And only 2-3 phones, all under one roof, running an unlicensed OS.

Beyond impressive.

Samsung no longer reports mobile phone sales numbers, ending the practice in mid-2010 for competitive reasons.


Uh-huh. Lmao
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago
I find it mind blowing that Apple has 3 phones that cumulatively sell this well. How many Android phones does Samsung sell now...?
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago

Wirefully posted (Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; Trident/5.0))





Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.


Put bluntly, you and the zealous Apple fanboys have ruined this site. This used to be a place where those who liked Apple products and the innovation that the company brought could come and discuss what may happen and what had happened.

There has always been anti windows postings (I've made a few myself- usually after a bad day at work. I've also made some anti Apple ones when the "it just works" mantra didn't quite hold true), but people like you seem to be filling some void in your life with this stuff. Why dedicate so much of your time to antagonising others?

The reality is that it is human nature to make assumptions and generalisations. If we didn't then we would get anywhere on a daily basis. We have to challenge individual and group assumptions where there is reason to believe that a shift in attitude would lead to a better society. Challenging for the sake of needing to feel right is a little pathetic.

What I'm getting to is that pulling holes in an argument is easy. There is never a definitive correct answer where views are expressed about issues in which there are too many variables.

My question to you and those that argue with you is this: is changing the general view about Apple going to make the world a better place? What headline negative impact as to the way Apple operates motivates you to put in the effort? I assume it is not a case of you simply enjoying the sport. Surely antagnosing others and upsetting them is not your motivation? Surely you are not so self-righteous as to believe that you have no areas where you are harmlessly generalist in your views?

Ultimately I now have to sift through dozens of posts all the time just to get to points that don't relate to anti-Apple or pro-Apple battles.

Aiden: why?
Rating: 6 Votes
33 months ago

Why? People who like interesting devices are not required to limit themselves to one brand.....


Agreed! I know many Apple fans have been Palm OS users before . . . especially since Apple was a Palm device vendor at one point. Going from a Treo 600 to a featureless iPhone 1 was a hard move that I am sure many actual smartphone users didn't want to make.

Or, as in my case, I didn't think it was worth the money and time to jump from Sprint to AT&T and pay full price for a phone.
Rating: 6 Votes

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